Albuquerque Journal

Woman struggles with grandchild’s transition

- Abigail Van Buren Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby. com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

DEAR ABBY: My granddaugh­ter just informed me she has decided she would be happier living as a boy, and she has gone so far as to legally change her name. I want to be supportive, but I admit I’m having a lot of trouble accepting it, or at least figuring out how to deal with it.

She’s my only grandchild. I loved my granddaugh­ter with all my heart, and I don’t know how to shift gears to a grandson. I keep stumbling when I try to use the new name. I would welcome any suggestion­s you could make. — GRANDMA IN PAIN

DEAR GRANDMA: Gender reassignme­nt is not something that someone does on a lark. There are many steps involved, and the journey, while liberating, can be challengin­g both physically and emotionall­y. I am sure this is something your grandchild has given much thought to.

Yes, coming to terms with it can be as much of a journey for family as it is for the transgende­r person, and it can take time and understand­ing on all sides. A group called PFLAG can help you through this. It has been mentioned in my column for decades. It has helped countless families to build bridges of understand­ing between themselves and their lesbian, gay and transgende­r loved ones. Please don’t wait to contact them. You will find PFLAG at, and their phone number is (202) 4678180.

DEAR ABBY: I am a 50-year-old man. My whole life, my relationsh­ip with my father has been strained. When I was in my teens and 20s, when he bought presents for my two siblings and not for me, he would say things to me like, “I forgot I had you.”

In spite of this, I became very successful in life. I had a great career and am now retired. My father recently announced to me that he had made only two mistakes in his life — marrying my mother, who has put up with him for more than 60 years, and having children.

My dilemma is, he is now 90 with many health problems. He is in the hospital now for a heart problem. I know he won’t last much longer. I feel nothing for him, and I am not sad. When he dies, I know I won’t care. Is this normal? I feel guilty for feeling this way. — DON’T CARE IN TENNESSEE

DEAR DON’T CARE: Please don’t feel guilty for feeling no regret at the prospect of “losing” a cruel and withholdin­g parent who made it his business to make those around him feel “less than.” Do not be surprised if, rather than feel a sense of loss, you feel at peace, as though a weight has been lifted from your shoulders. You should not feel guilty for that, either. Comfort and emotionall­y support your mother as best you can when he dies, but don’t be shocked if she, too, feels some relief. Their union could not have been the happiest.

 ??  ?? DEAR ABBY

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